Astronauts Arrive at KSC #2

Because of the Japanese Astronaut Soichi Noguchi there are a lot of Japanese media representatives covering the flight. Behind this reporter is the plane carrying the Astronauts.

Astronauts Arrive at KSC #1

This is the first of a series of pictures taken by SpaceWeekly Editor Arthur J. Byrnes at Kennedy Space Center Florida.

In this picture we se support personell arriving just before the Discovery Astronauts.

Mars Express radar ready to work

MARSIS, the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding onboard ESA’s Mars Express orbiter, is now fully deployed, has undergone its first checkout and is ready to start operations around the Red Planet. With this radar, the Mars Express orbiter at last has its full complement of instruments available to probe the planet’s atmosphere, surface and subsurface structure.

MARSIS consists of three antennas: two ‘dipole’ booms 20 metres long, and one 7-metre ‘monopole’ boom oriented perpendicular to the first two. Its importance is that it is the first- ever means of looking at what may lie below the surface of Mars.

The delicate three-stage phase of radar boom deployment, and all the following tests to verify spacecraft integrity, took place between 2 May and 19 June. Deployment of the first boom was completed on 10 May. That boom, initially stuck in unlocked mode, was later released by exploiting solar heating of its hinges.
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A detailed image from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope offers the strongest evidence yet that an unruly and unseen planet may be gravitationally tugging on a dusty ring around the nearby star Fomalhaut (HD 216956).

The most detailed visible light image ever taken of a narrow, dusty ring unequivocally shows the center is a whopping 1.4 billion miles away from the star; a distance nearly halfway across our solar system. The most plausible explanation is an unseen planet, moving in an elliptical orbit, is reshaping the ring with its gravitational pull. The geometrically striking ring, tilted toward Earth, would not have such a great offset if it were only being influenced by Fomalhaut’s gravity.
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